Lahinch – an Ideal Base to explore the West Ireland
If you are exploring the West of Ireland and especially the scenic spot of Clare then Lahinch is the ideal place to base yourself. Lahinch is perfect to visit some of the best attractions in Ireland in the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, The Aran Islands among many others. Lahinch itself is a great little village looking out on the Atlantic Ocean and is a gem in itself. Lahinch boasts ideal surfing spots, a world class links golf course, the quintessential Irish pubs and traditional music as well as many walks along the surrounding cliffs.
In my experience County Clare and Lahinch are situated on one of the most scenic routes in Ireland and are some of the best places to enjoy a few days of history, nature and Irish culture. County Clare where Lahinch is located is perched on the western edge of Ireland and contains an array of stark landscapes formed by the wind and rain which even leaves some of the bushes and trees permanently slanted to the side. The Cliffs of Moher tower over the sea whereas the Burren is a porous limestone wasteland that still contains some unique life that exists nowhere else in the world. Along with these spectacular natural phenomenon there are some of the most entertaining villages in Ireland in Doolin and Lisdoonvarna where traditional music is found in every pub and is as popular as the pints.
Things to explore in Lahinch Ireland
The Cliff of Moher
They are only 10km from Lahinch and are some of the tallest sea cliffs in Europe at over 200mtrs (600ft) and stretch for 5miles. Entry is €6 to the cliff of Moher and visitors centre. Even if you exclude these monstrosities, a coastal drive north of Lahinch takes you on 40km (30miles) of fabulous Atlantic views.;
The Aran Islands
They are visible from the Cliffs of Moher are where the Atlantic first meets Ireland. On this remote spot of 3 small islands are some great walks and history. Dun Aengus fort on Inishmore is one of the most spectacular historical sites in the world. This fort dating from 1100BC is perched on the edge of a 100mtr (300ft) cliff and the 6mtr high walls have survived all nature has thrown at it. The walls are 4mtrs (12ft) thick at some points which surely must have been impenetrable thousands of years ago. The Aran Islands have also great beaches and hospitality and is home of the comic Fr.Ted festival. It is possible to get boats from Doolin (10km from Lahinch) from March to October that includes great views of the Cliffs of Moher on the way across.
The Burren Lahinch, Ireland
The Burren in Irish means ‘great rock’ and when you visit this 250 sq km karst landscape you will see why. The Burren National Park, 30km from Lahnich, is a seemingly barren land but in summertime the area explodes with arctic, alpine and Mediterranean loving plants all growing side by side. The national park is only a small part of The Burren but contains some great short walks from 40min to 3hrs.
It is very famous for its traditional music and also for its match-making festival that takes place each September and lasts the whole month. If you want to find a mate then Lisdoonvarna is a good place to start. Having said that it may not be ideal if you are twenty or thirty something as most of the clientele are a bit older than that! It’s a tradition that goes back generations but I haven’t heard of many stats that verify its success. Despite this the town is a party town for that whole month as tourists flock from America and continental Europe for it to listen to the traditional music and sample the ‘craic’ in the pubs. It’s ‘mighty’ as they say.
There are several other smaller attractions close by such as Fr.Ted House (used in the hit comedy Fr. Ted) near Corofin or the Michael Cusack Visitors Centre (founder of the GAA, Irelands traditional sport) in The Burren or Aillwee Caves further north near Ballyvaughan in north Clare.
If you are in Ireland for any length of time and visit the west (which is the best part) then make sure to spend some time in and around Lahinch.